owned media

Owned media and the PESO framework

The term ‘PESO’ was coined back in 2014 in the book Spin Sucks to describe the model strategy for combining paid media, earned media, and shared and owned media.

It’s a useful marketing and public relations planning tool that we covered in two previous blogs:

In our latest article, we delve a little deeper into the world of owned media and its vital role in content marketing and building your brand.

Making the most of your owned media channels is a great way to increase trust and boost brand awareness.

It should be a big part of your marketing mix – using compelling content across your social media platforms and websites at the right time to reach more people.

What is owned media?

Owned media refers to any content you have complete control over that is owned, created and distributed by your business. Common examples of owned media include:

  • Your website – all the pages you publish about your products, services, company history and team
  • Content – blogs, videos, podcasts, press releases, white papers, popular forms, and other visual content and resources
  • Case studies – including testimonials and employee stories

Examples of other owned media properties:

  • Mobile apps
  • Your newsletter
  • Email marketing campaigns

Is social media content owned media?

Social media channels are not truly owned media because you don’t have total control over the experience.

If you are publishing anything on social media, such as your Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter, your business will be subject to algorithms that may not show your marketing content. Before publishing on social media accounts, you should always consider your objectives and target audience.

As Harvard Business Review said, “Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are your landlords, and you just lease the space. It’s true that you own your accounts and profiles. That’s like having your name on the mailbox. But as your landlord, they can enter your apartment at will,  renovate the building whenever they like — and keep the profits resulting from improvements you make to the property.”

Owners’ media channels usually offer great value because they provide audiences with information they are actively searching for. Creating a diverse portfolio of owned media channels as part of a digital marketing strategy is a powerful mix.

What is the difference between owned and earned media?

The difference between owned media and your earned media strategy is simple. While owned media refers to any web property you control that’s unique to your brand, earned media is publicity generated through public relations and influencer outreach.

What are paid media channels?

While earned media is ‘free exposure’ you work for, paid media is, simply put, marketing that you pay for. It can be used tactically to drive traffic to earned and owned channels.

How does owned media play a role in the PESO framework?

An owned media strategy is important as it’s your opportunity to develop marketing content, shape your story and brand the way you want it to be seen in the digital world and offline.

Media strategies that include earned and owned media ensure you have control over owned content on your website so that you can choose the language, design, tone of voice, layout and branding.

Leveraging your owned media in your marketing efforts pays dividends. It can increase your social media posts’ engagement and boost direct traffic to your website as compelling content generates interest in your business.

What you don’t get to choose, however, is when a visitor lands on your website or gets to see your owned media efforts. That’s where the rest of the PESO model comes in.

Simply creating a website or writing blogs isn’t enough for your brand to be noticed. You need to delve into the world of paid media, earned media and shared media to help it reach its intended target audiences. Owned media works, and it needs to be part of your marketing plan.

This diagram shows how the different media types, namely paid media, earned media, shared media, and owned media overlap:


PESO model image

Owned media is often the starting point in PESO as it acts as a bridge to all other components. The more quality content you produce, the more opportunities you have to drive traffic to your website, be shared on social media, be newsworthy and relevant for unpaid coverage, and have something worth paying to promote.

Of course, PESO doesn’t always work that way, and bigger campaigns are often treated more fluidly than this, using paid owned and earned media as well as shared media in different ways, but it’s helpful to understand how one aspect influences others.

How to build effective owned media

Use these tips to have a good output of owned media and help you develop an owned media content strategy where you have control:

  • Create a content calendar

    Mark up seasonal events and awareness days relevant to your business. Develop a content hub by planning out content for your newsletter, blog post and other relevant channels, so you know you are always creating enough content.

  • Recycle and reuse

    It’s time-consuming creating new content. Consider reusing old content in a new and refreshing way to promote products. Perhaps a post you did last year on International Women’s Day can be reposted with an update on what the female leaders have achieved during the past 12 months. Or simply reshare it with the #ThrowbackThursday hashtag on your social media profiles.

  • Create evergreen content

    This is marketing content that can be used anytime and doesn’t have an end date. There are multiple options, for example, features on ‘Top 10 tips’ or ‘the best roundups.’ Once published, you can pick out the individual tips to post on social media over the weeks and months to come. Resources such as blog posts on your website should be a key part of your marketing strategy. Use them in other formats to share across other platforms, like TikTok and Instagram.

  • Consider creating hero content

    White papers, ebooks and downloadable guides may take time and money to produce, but if done well will give your brand credibility. This type of owned media is likely to lead to the holy grail of earned media (i.e. unpaid media coverage) and help build your brand’s authority.

  • Understand your audience

    Use your internal search engine results and google analytics to identify what customers are searching for. Make your digital marketing work harder with SEO tools such as Answer The Public to ensure your content is useful so that it’s more likely to be shared.

  • Newsletters

    Email marketing is a powerful medium and should be used by all businesses looking to develop customer loyalty. Attract new audiences with discounts and introductory offers. Include them as part of your digital marketing strategy’s media mix for maximum effect. Build your email lists with regular newsletters that are targeted per audience and channel.

  • Social media channels

    Build your community through effective social media marketing. Send messages to your targets by distributing interesting and useful content.

Owned media and SEO

As well as using owned media to communicate your thought leadership and share industry insights, owned is great for your SEO. Use keywords throughout your content marketing copy to help generate traffic and ensure that visitors can find what they are looking for when they land on your website.

Increasing your website’s visibility in search engines for prized keywords will boost your bottom line. Catch potential customers at the right time to place your informative and transactional content in front of them.

Create content

Create content to reinforce your values and demonstrate your knowledge. It will also reinforce your messages and bring new visitors to come and see what you have to offer. Ensure you create engaging content to get higher engagement.

Regular content creation keeps your audience interested in who you are and what your business is achieving. Owned media is a great way to boost your organic traffic.

Your next steps

If you have any thoughts on paid owned and earned media and how to use shared media with the PESO  framework, let us know in the comments below, or connect with us on Twitter @Ambitiouspr. We’d love to hear what you think!

Book your free consultation with us and see how your owned media can deliver. Contact us at [email protected] or 01179051177 to create your media strategy.